Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change has given the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) four days to maintain broken sewer pipes in Area 18 amidst a blame game on the responsibility to manage the waste in the area.
The committee summoned various stakeholders including MHC in the wake of water contamination in the area as well as to revisit the Water Resources Act of 1995 which reportedly is not being fully utilised.
Committee Chairperson, Werani Chilenga, said after analysing the facts presented before the committee, it was found that, as a landlord, MHC should clear the mess while the legal framework is being given proper attention.
“From what transpired, Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is also a victim. The free flow of sewer has been there before the water pipe burst. So when the pipe was bursting, it simply flowed into their pipes and you may wish to know that up to now the sewer is still flowing,’’ he said
Tempers flared when Lilongwe City Council, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Charles Makanga, emphasised that the council is only responsible for managing the main sewer as well as collecting and treating wastes not the connecting pipes which serve tenants of MHC.
“The Local Government Act is clear that we should monitor the operations of other stakeholders, but we failed to do so with MHC. It needs to manage affairs within their premises. Lilongwe City Council is there to collect and treat waste,” he said
MHC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Garnet Gwembere, while accepting the responsibility maintained that their mandate is not to manage the sewage.
“We will try the best we can within those days. We have not been found guilty. The issue was about the mandates on who is responsible but those people at Area 18 are our tenants. As a landlord, we have been asked to assist solve the problem that is there at hand,” he said
LWB Chief Executive Officer, Alfonso Chikuni, maintained that if the free flow of sewer water continues, it will have a major impact on their supply of water in the area.
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